Committee Biographies

Ann Taggart

Position on the Committee:  Chairman & Health Representative

Year Joined the Committee:  c. 1992

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Passing the Show Gundog Working Certificate in 2019

Other Interests:  Have passport, will travel – preferably to see wildlife – the Galapagos, Botswana and Madagascar being highlights

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  Hard to limit it to one thing as I enjoy all aspects of our activities

Who would you most like to meet?  David Attenborough

Something you might not know about me:  I lived in New Zealand for 12 years

Vicky Clarke-Gear

Position on the Committee:  Vice Chairman & Puppy List Co-Ordinator

Year Joined the Committee:  2005

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Making up a full champion in style with BIS at the GRC in 2001 – Ch Ousevale Lady Eleanor JW

Other Interests: Cooking, gardening, travel, walking

What do you enjoy most about the Club? The cameraderie and being part of a really lovely committee who are there for you during the best and worst times

Who would you most like to meet?  Mrs Charlesworth

Something you might not know about me:  I was secretary of the Silsoe & Dist Young Farmers Club.  In a similar vein I’ve judged sheep, cattle and goats!    I was also part of the Young Farmers Amateur Dramatic Society.

Barbara Gentleman

Position on the Committee:  Secretary

Year Joined the Committee:  2008

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Becoming Secretary of this Club

Other Interests:  Sports for the less able (my husband Terry and I were instrumental alongside other families when the Spastic Society became Scope in creating CP Sport)

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The Committee!  What can I say as Secretary – Simply the Best!

Who would you most like to meet?  I think I would go with Richard Gere (have you seen him as the silver fox in the hotel film set in India (Marigold?).  I’m still dribbling promise!

Something you might not know about me:  I spent an evening with Bill Nighy in the Albert Hall at a Van Morrison Concert – charming man

Sue Hush

Position on the Committee:  Breed Education Representative, Judges Sub-Committee, Tea & Cake Maker at events

Year Joined the Committee:  2011 (I think)

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Dog CC at Leeds 1999

Other Interests:  My beautiful grandchildren

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The camaraderie of a fantastic committee

Who would you most like to meet?  Billy Connolly

Something you might not know about me:  I went to school with a Bay City Roller and an Olympic gold medallist!

Di Ewings

 

Position on the Committee:  Field Trial Secretary

Year Joined the Committee:   I have known Golden Retrievers all my life and was involved in the first Club events, my parents being founding members.  I have never served on the committee but am part of the working sub-committee

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  1) Our 4 SGWC’s, one of which was achieved whilst Don was in Papworth undergoing heart surgery – I didn’t know which to be more worried about!  2) Qualifying for Crufts twice – that may seem small beer to some but if you only enter single figures of shows a year and only one Ch. Show it puts a different perspective on it.  3) Leading a field trial with Bryanstown Ballinacor, Tealcreek Ted Corrigan of B. and Kailzie Una of B. on 3 different occasions – you’ll have to take the word of the onlookers for that as we never made it to the awards!

Other Interests:  Cooking, gardening and photography, reading, writing but no, not ‘rithmatic!

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  I love that we are a Club that is prepared to give its members stepping stones to achieve, whether it’s the fun dog show at the rally or the Apple Tree Training Day – we recognise that everyone has to start somewhere

Who would you most like to meet? (Nobody currently springs to mind!)

Something you might not know about me: I was a keen ballroom dancer years’ ago and began taking my medal exams

Jacquie Smallcombe

Position on the Committee:  General Committee Member

Year Joined the Committee:  around 2005

Proudest Moment in Goldens:   Winning the DCC and RCC and Eastern Counties GRC with two full brothers and winning a First at Crufts with my Veteran Bitch

Other Interests:  Gardening, cruising holidays or holidays in Devon

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  Meeting people with the same interests and the friendships made

Who would you most like to meet?  Sir Winston Churchill

Something you might not know about me:  When I left college, I was accepted by a firm of Accounts (as it was then) taking to take Articles or now it is called an Apprenticeship

Dianne Rourke-Knights

Position on the Committee:  “I’m just an ordinary member – no talents” (Ed – come on Di that’s not true!)

Year Joined the Committee:  2009

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Giving my first set of Tickets at WELKS in 2015 and our BOB Sh Ch Ritzilyn Doctor Pepper JW doing Gundog Group 4

Other Interests:  Knitting for charities – mainly neo-natal babies

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The Rally and Funday, the Best Golden Retriever Event of the Year!

Who would you most like to meet?  Lionel Richie

Something you might not know about me:  I was a Wild Biker Child…..!

Kevin Knights

 

Position on the Committee:  Unofficial Club Food Taster

Year Joined the Committee: 2009

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Watching (my wife) Di give her first set of Tickets

Other Interests:  Eating

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The friendly banter with the exhibitors at our shows

Who would you most like to meet? The Hairy Bikers

Something you might not know about me: I hate plain chocolate and sprouts

Marc Wheeldon

 

Position on the Committee:  To do as I’m told

Year Joined the Committee:  2007 (I think)

Proudest Moment in Goldens:   I’ve been lucky enough to have quite a few proud moments with all my dogs but the stand out one was winning the Bitch CC at Crufts in 2015 with my beautiful Orla – and then going on to make her up a full champion.

 

Other Interests:  Golf and Donkeys

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The superb committee I work with, who all work so hard to keep the club running with our wonderful events

Who would you most like to meet?  Tiger Woods

Something you might not know about me:  I love an adrenalin rush, having spent a week cage diving with Great White Sharks out in the Pacific Ocean, skydived and bungee jumped on numerous occasions

Nadine Barber

Position on the Committee:  Educational Events Co-ordinator, Member of the Working Sub-Committee and favourite position assisting with co-ordination of our Jewel in the Crown … The Rally

Year Joined the Committee: 2012

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  After growing up in a family that owned an eclectic mix of breeds over the years, is that I persuaded my parents that our next breed should be a golden retriever.  How incredibly glad I am that I persuaded them as, thanks to Rosie, I completely fell in love with the breed and, over the years, have shared my life with some incredibly special golden friends, all of whom have completely stolen my heart

Other Interests:  I love my job as an early years teacher and my ‘little people’ continue to inspire me every day.  I am also heavily involved in guiding and have never left the organisation since joining as a brownie and in 2019 was proudly awarded the accolade of District Commissioner

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  Being part of a truly wonderful committee who I am proud to call my friends

Who would you most like to meet?  Impossible, but Olive Baden Powell

Something you might not know about me: Despite loving my career path, whilst growing up my biggest ambition after realising that I was never going to make it as one of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ was to be a member of the British Airways cabin crew, I had the application forms completed and still have them just in case. However, I can still do the emergency evacuation just in case it’s ever needed at a show.

Nicky Hughes

 

Position on the Committee:  Somewhere near the bottom!

Year Joined the Committee:  2011(ish)

Proudest Moment(s) in Goldens:  A long time ago now, first time stepping onto that green carpet at Crufts with my first Golden, my first home-bred litter,  watching dogs I have bred giving great pleasure to their new people and doing well at shows, my first CC appointment.

Other Interests:  Gardening, people watching, walking, the Great Outdoors

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  Being part of a great team with the same interests at heart, laughing (and eating cake)

Who would you most like to meet? The man of my dreams!

Something you might not know about me: I am a terrible hoarder, I keep everything, I love to drive much too fast and was a Mod back in the day.  Spent a lot of my young years at concerts: The Who, Thin Lizzy, Genesis, Stones, 10CC to name a few.  Adore Les Miserables and know every word. Been Secretary of Wickford, Basildon & DCS for 20 years!

Bruce Carter

 

Position on the Committee:  Judges Sub-Committee

Year Joined the Committee:  2013

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  After a decade away from dogs, our bitch and her son took the RCC and BPIS respectively at the SGRS Ch Show

Other Interests:  I play chess at county level and bridge at a local level.  I also enjoy gardening and swimming

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  Assisting club members with queries at shows or educational events, especially those new to the breed

Who would you most like to meet?  Andre Rieu and Company

Something you might not know about me:   I enjoyed a day at Buckingham Palace as one of Her Majesty’s World Champions to celebrate the 40th year of her reign. I was also in the film, ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, with the Beatles.

Mike Askew

Position on the Committee:  Member of the Working Sub-Committee,  stewarding at field trials, also setting up shows with Kevin and stewarding the fun dog show at the rally

Year Joined the Committee:  1993/4 (And founder member of the Club)

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Meeting Shirley in the show ring at Hemel Hempstead

Other Interests:  Clay shooting

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The company

Who would you most like to meet?

Something you might not know about me:  I was a fireman on the railway in the late 1950’s.  I also bred a full Champion – Camrose Gay Delight of Sladeham.  I won the BCC at the GRC Ch Show at Sandford-on-Thames in 1964 under Joan Tudor with my own Gay Time of Sladeham.  She also won the RCC at Leeds Ch Show.

Karen Williams

Position on the Committee:  Magazine Editor and Membership Secretary

Year Joined the Committee:  2014 (from memory)

Proudest Moment in Goldens:   It has to be my show and working successes with my dear departed Watson, including our first CC, winning our class at Crufts, BIS at the GRC Open show and passing his Show Gundog Working Certificate

Other Interests:  I play the violin and viola in a string quartet and my local orchestra

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  It’s a privilege to be part of such a supportive, knowledgeable friendly committee – and several of them bake very nice cakes!

Who would you most like to meet?  , Rishi Sunak (to thank him for bailing me out when he did), closely followed by the hairdresser this coming Monday…

Something you might not know about me:  In 2003 I met the Queen in my capacity as Secretary of the Havering Concert Orchestra.  At the time I was on jury service at the Old Bailey – but the judge kindly suspended the whole trial for an afternoon enabling me to carry out my civic duty!

Paulina O'Gorman

Position on the Committee:  Rescue & Rehoming Officer, ‘Tech guy’ when needed

Year Joined the Committee:  2017

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  My lovely Cadhla gaining her first CC

Other Interests:  Learning languages (currently Spanish), dog training, travelling, singing in the car (on the way to dog shows)

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The People – we can always have a laugh!  And the fact that we care about the breed

Who would you most like to meet?  Jim Morrison

Something you might not know about me:  I used to sing in a rock band and write lyrics

Maria Fleet

Position on the Committee:  General Committee Member

Year Joined the Committee:  2011

Proudest Moment in Goldens:  Winning the RCC under Frank Kane at Bath Ch Show in 2013

Other Interests:  I play bowls

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  ‘I like the chit chat’ and am a big supporter of Rescue, particularly the Rally

Who would you most like to meet?  Ann Widdecombe

Something you might not know about me:  I was born in Stratford, East London near the Olympic Park and where I worked in a care home for 30 years.  My affix ‘Eastbury’ comes from my East London roots.

Mike Hamilton

Position on the Committee:  Working Test Secretary

Year Joined the Committee:  Second Tour of Duty (2020)

Proudest Moment in Goldens:   There are quite a few. However, the two that spring to mind are plucking up the courage to enter my first working test, the ECGRC Novice Dog/ Novice Handler, with my very first Golden Retriever, Bruce, and winning it and my very first Field Trial win with my once in a lifetime dog, Mouse.

Other Interests:  Photography, shooting and generating Excel spreadsheets to manage my life

What do you enjoy most about the Club?  The members of the Committee and the general inclusiveness of the Club

Who would you most like to meet?  The Photo Journalist and War Photographer Don McCullin

Something you might not know about me:  My two nicknames.  At school I was known as Chesh (as in Cheshire Cat as I always used to smile) and, after leaving the dizzy height of Academia and getting my first real world job, as Doctor Dolittle (and it wasn't due to my ability to talk to the animals!)